Fashion Under The Volcano

sica_menswear-naples

“This is fashion scene is getting ready to blow…”

Because of its sulfurous reputation not many people come to Naples. I can rattle off a whole list of reasons why this fashion and style capital should draw your immediate attention. Starting with Marinella, the sunshine, and outstanding home cooking and you’ll find yourself on the next plane to the city under the volcano.

You may claim that you have better things to do than to fly down to Naples in order to buy ties. All the more reason to discuss gents neckwear with Maurizio Marinella. He is affable and his store is charming. If you need further incentive, there are the beautiful women. Think Sophia Loren. Every beautiful woman loves a well-dressed gent who recognizes that fashion means the right tie. It certainly adds panache to any suit. Call it the perfect choreography to good taste.

Marinella ties have become such a phenomenon, that more than one luxury group has proposed to buy this establishment. Fortunately, he has not succumbed. Berlutti and Moyat might be new editions to the “brand is mightier than the sword” way of branding, but Maurizio Marinella doesn’t believe this is the way forward.

He is a gentleman who knows that quality cannot be mass produced and prefers to maintain the highest standards. His shop sits in the Chaia district, which is the chicest neighborhood in the city. His grandfather opened this boutique in 1914. Now, you can’t beat that for genuine heritage.

“We grow up with the fear that we will be considered people who only have mandolins, make pizza and mozzarella”, states Maurizio. “But actually I, and many others like me, show that there is also a Naples that produces, that works, that gets up at six in the morning, and still manages to be successful on an international level.”

nap2_italian-menswear

“Where shopping is always paradise…”

Unlike other manufacturers of ties, his are clearly in another league. The rich and the famous have all paid house calls: Bill Clinton, Luchino Visconti, Aristotle Onassis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Giovanni Agnelli.

His business is a lesson in sustainability. Call it “Small is Beautiful”. Why tamper with excellence? Many pundits have asked him why he doesn’t open a chain of boutiques to satisfy global demand.

“Because I am a craftsman and I wish to remain a craftsman”, replies Maurizio Marinella. “I am not interested in large numbers and I would rather keep the tradition alive and fruitful, together with the magic that accompanies it.”

square_italian-menswear

“Because panache is Neapolitan style…”

Considering the price of a tie from Hermes, I wondered how much does a Marinella cost? The answer is surprising: “Between 80 and 90 euros”, he said. “Less than many ties produced industrially by some of the great names of Italian and French fashion.”

I wondered, is it possible to survive on just selling ties? The answer is a demonstrative “yes”. There’s an attitude you can count on. I won’t suggest that you throw out your current tie collection, but I would give serious consideration to giving them to charity and heading off to Naples. The firm also does some rather nice cuff links. Still need another reason to fly down to Naples? Capri is just a stone’s throw across the bay and is picture perfect.

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Article Title: Fashion Under The Volcano
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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How To Craft The French Touch

aud_french-touch

“Don’t you just love mess in’ about in boats…”

Recently, I was invited to the Regalade, a charming restaurant in a discreet Paris location to discuss The French Touch. At the table were a distinguished cast of cognoscente, whose names I am not at liberty to divulge.

Table talk centered on the essence of style over fashion, craftsmanship over mass production, i.e. made in ailleurs. There was the occasional chest beating and lament. Hey, Paris has a latin soul, but it was nothing a few cocktails couldn’t cure. The general consensus was that identifying The French Touch is like a sea dragon riding the wind.

These people I might add were not hide bound bores, but designers and players in the luxury sector. Off the record, one comment was: “Luxury brands like any other retailer deal in bottom lines. Fashion is a world driven by constant and persistent change.”

It is sometimes true that creatives try to cajole, persuade, and market their wares non-stop to an ever-fickle public looking for the next big thing. Where the concept of timelessness was once a by-word for quality, today luxury is the effervescence of shooting stars. Take a journey over to Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees showcase, and engage with the current zeitgeist.

pivoine_french-touch

“It’s hard to beat the French Touch when it comes to style…”

Although I have nothing against profitability, we must not confuse sales figures with taste or style. Real style is intangible and is intrinsic to a person’s persona. The concept of The French Touch is not any different. It is easy to identify, but quite difficult to replicate. It is as one lovely figure among us noted, “a state of mind”. The French actress, Marion Cotillion encapsulates the French touch to perfection in Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight In Paris”.

Lea Seydoux is another beauty who radiates the French Touch. Just imagine you are dining with her. She is sheepishly looking at you with those hypnotic eyes, and then says in that most Parisienne of voices: “Mon chou would you care to share a bottle of Foufoune. If this happens to you, you are done for. Cuite.

For those who aspire to capture this look, study Audrey Hepburn for guidelines. Although she was not French, she was not born in the States either. There was something quite mystical about her persona, which still captivates audiences. The term I would use to describe her is elegance. In her film with Fred Astaire, she causally remarks, “I am not beautiful; I have a funny face.” Ever the gentleman, Fred Astaire responded, “What you call funny, I call interesting.”

Audrey knew she had allure. Her clothes personified her character not the other way around. She was an ambassador for Hubert de Givenchy, and wore his clothes with panache. However, because her beauty was so natural, she was just as much at home in a pair of Levis. This is not just style but real class.

Three years ago, Ines de la Fressange published La Parisienne, and the book was an instant best seller in France. The book oozes with the style voice of one of Chanel’s former key models and taste trendsetters. Today, Ines is 50-something, and just as captivating as she was in her 20s. The book stands as a style guide to good taste for any contemporary woman, who wants to let loose her own version of The French Touch.

Visitors and designers alike claim that in this city men and women dress better than many other urban environments, and embody a certain je ne sais quoi. That “something” is well articulated in Ines book. It is also lovingly captured by the fashion photographer, Scott Schuman on his trend setting blog entitled, The Satorialist. Scott has the uncanny knack for capturing style across age groups. He demonstrates how personal and organic French style, really is. Every one can look great; it is a question of attitude, not money. His photographs make you drool. On his website, he features a whole ream of pictures taken in Paris, which give you a good feel for the French vibe.

I have another dear friend who claims that The French Touch is in the tap water. Drink the water at will he laughs and “voila”. Here, I am not so sure. The “Chateau Robinet 2014″ is barely drinkable. Perhaps, the water he was referring to, came from Reims in bottles, labelled, Bollinger. Baudelaire claimed that all French women had beautiful legs because they spent half their lives walking up and down countless flights of stairs.

Someone remarked to me just the other day that everyone should have an uncle called “Christian”. It is true that Dior had certainly added to the modern vocabulary of contemporary woman. His feel for shape and color were unique. He knew how to drape fabric across a woman’s body, letting the woman’s body speak with its own voice, not necessarily calling attention to the clothes. Elegance is always a point of subtlety.

A contemporary style trend gathering more steam has been the craze for French vintage military field jackets, and those sailor’s shirts manufactured by St. James. The Lycée crowd has taken it up in spades, and it has spread to other circles throughout the heart of the BoBo-land. Designers have been borrowing concepts from vintage military clothing for ages; Jean-Paul Gautier is just one of the most successful.

Another key give away that your style code needs adjusting is when your clothes are too tight. This is not style, sorry. This is bad taste. Clothes should always be adjusted and be your size. Forget what the inner label says. Use a tape measure.

Want to laugh?

One of our global readers was recently asking what is the best colour for shirts. At first glance, I thought this was a philosophical question. I was about to consult my annotated copy of the Analects by Confucius, and caught myself saying, “Wait a second. Colour is personal”. The French like the Italians are fond of blue and white stripes of assorted versions. This design has a causal preppy style and can be worn with or without a tie. Speaking of ties, the bow tie has made a smashing comeback. This would have pleased my father no end. I find that bow ties are not only great in summer, but can also pass muster all year round. In case you would like to start fostering a collection, why not head over to Charvet near Place Vendome. Talk about the French Touch!

If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon and let us know!

Article Title: How To Craft The French Touch
Photographs: (1) curated by ES (2)weheartit.com

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Because You’re Hell Bent On Leather

there_leather-italian-style

“I wonder if he bought that briefcase…”

Hell bent on leather for a gentlemen is not a question of S&M. It means finding the right bag or briefcase. Bridle leather is stiff, but Italian leather is soft as butter.

Enter Wanny Di Filippo, the founder of Il Bisonte. Not long ago, he was in Paris, when I came to grips with him over a Japanese bowl of lamen. To meet with Wanny in the flesh is quite a treat. Now, if you have never heard of Il Bisonte, you are in for a surprise. If you are an old Bisonte aficionado than you will rediscover why you fell in love with this brand. This firm of artisans was always hell bent on leather.

Launched 40 years ago in tiny workshop-boutique in Florence, Il Bisonte embodies La Dolce Vita Style. Walk down any street in this town and you are overwhelmed with creativity and beauty. Every church is adorned with Renaissance masterpieces. Eat at a local trattoria such as Vini, and you will never go home. No wonder Florence has such a reputation for splendor and leather craftsmanship. The setting is so inviting that Gant Rugger made Florence their narrative for their Team Americano collection.

Before I get carried away, our story begins in 1970. It is here in the heart of town on the narrow via del Parione the whole show kicks off. Before you can say Michelangelo three times backwards, Wanny is making leather handbags, travel satchels, briefcases, leather wallets, belts and accessories.

For anyone with a leather fetish, your lust will definitely be satisfied here. The leather products stand as a testimony to Wanny’s good taste, craftsmanship, and understatement. The shop captures his DNA, which in essence incarnates his vision of beauty. What is it that gives Italians the innate quality to do such wonderful things with leather?

Many have tried to imitate Italian leather techniques. No one has ever succeeded. It seems genetic. Unique leather treatment techniques are coupled to unalloyed craft of the highest caliber. Just touch a pair of Wanny’s driving shoes. The skin is soft and the patina is magic. Last time I was in town, I succumbed to pair in cognac. Although there are a multitude of color choices, the natural shades age best. They quickly take on your personality . So what is it that makes this brand so special?

bisonte_italian-leather-style

“When you are looking for something soft as butter…”

The secret lies in the use of natural vegetable-tanned cow-hide. The leather arrives at the store in the purest, palest tan. It darkens with time, sunlight and handling. Years ago, I asked Wanny why the bison logo. Here’s what he said:

“I’ve always been fascinated by the peace and strength bison convey. For centuries these animals were the very source of life for the people who roamed North America. Nowadays, it is a symbol that I proudly use to sign my product.”

These are the words of a true romantic. What I also admire about the man is his authenticity. The firm refuses to sell out in the old meaning of this term. Il Bisonte is infused with the idealism of the 1960s and 1970s. For lovers of all things preppy, you cannot go wrong here. There are no gaudy gold buckles or “in your face” logos on Il Bisonte products. Just outstanding quality and unique design.

Considering the times in which we live, the firm manages to perpetuate this legacy with sustainable growth. Although the articles are no longer made in their original workshop, they are still manufactured the old fashioned way in the Tuscan countryside.

The best term I can use to describe the house style is simplicity. The founder continues to work and takes real joy in shaping with his own hands the designs he conjures up each season. No wonder the store has such a cult following. Just ask one of the cognoscente to show you their bag or wallet.

Recently, I paid a visit to the store’s Paris branch, and I collared a catalog. You’ll never guess what? The catalog is in Japanese. It features the entire Bisonte range for both men and woman. The Japanese recognize great leather craft as easily as they can identify the freshest sashimi.

Since I am in the market for a briefcase, I found just what I was looking for and light as a feather. As the delightful sales woman and I spoke about the details, I could picture Wanny Di Filippo holding the bag himself sauntering around Florence. Perhaps this is also part of the brand’s allure. He is a complete original. This gentleman doesn’t just make leather goods. He is an artistic eccentric, who loves waistcoats, colorful scarves, and is not adverse to excellent cigars.

bisonte2_italian-style

“Home on the range…”

I totally appreciate why Wanny lives and creates in Italy. Here living well still resonates with the fervor that continues to give meaning to La Dolce Vita.

If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon and lets us know!

Article Title: Because You’re Hell Bent On Leather
Photographs: (1) duchessdior (2)(3) Alessandro Moggi

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on art | style | design | culture | food | travel |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand. If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

logoCityblis

The Effervescence Of The French Touch

audrey_french-style

“Some claim the French Touch is in the tap water…”

I was invited to a charming bistro in a discreet Paris location to discuss The French Touch. At the table were a distinguished cast of cognoscente, whose names I am not at liberty to divulge.

Table talk centered on the essence of style over fashion, craftsmanship over mass production, i.e. made in ailleurs. There was the occasional chest beating and lament. Hey, Paris has a latin soul, but it was nothing a few cocktails couldn’t cure. The general consensus was that identifying The French Touch is like a sea dragon riding the wind.

These people I might add were not hide bound bores, but designers and players in the luxury sector. Off the record, one comment was: “Luxury brands like any other retailer deal in bottom lines. Fashion is a world driven by constant and persistent change.”

It is sometimes true that creatives try to cajole, persuade, and market their wares non-stop to an ever-fickle public looking for the next big thing. Where the concept of timelessness was once a by-word for quality, today luxury is the effervescence of shooting stars. Take a journey over to Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees showcase, and engage with the current zeitgeist.

Although I have nothing against profitability, we must not confuse sales figures with taste or style. Real style is intangible and is intrinsic to a person’s persona. The concept of The French Touch is not any different. It is easy to identify, but quite difficult to replicate. It is as one lovely figure among us stated, “a state of mind”. The French actress, Marion Cotillion encapsulates the French touch to perfection in Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight In Paris”.

Just imagine you are dining with Lea Seydoux. She is sheepishly looking at you with those hypnotic eyes, and then says in that most Parisienne of voices: “Mon chou would you care to share a bottle of Foufoune“.

If this happens to you, you are done for. Cuite.

For those who aspire to capture this look, study Audrey Hepburn for guidelines. Although she was not French, she was not born in the States either. There was something quite mystical about her persona, which still captivates audiences. The term I would use to describe her is elegance. In her film with Fred Astaire, she causally remarks, “I am not beautiful; I have a funny face.” Ever the gentleman, Fred Astaire responded, “What you call funny, I call interesting.”

Audrey knew she had allure. Her clothes personified her character not the other way around. She was an ambassador for Hubert de Givenchy, and wore his clothes with panache. However, because her beauty was so natural, she was just as much at home in a pair of Levis. This is not just style but real class.

Three years ago, Ines de la Fressange published La Parisienne, and the book was an instant best seller in France. The book oozes with the style voice of one of Chanel’s former key models and taste trendsetters. Today, Ines is 50-something, and just as captivating as she was in her 20s. The book stands as a style guide to good taste for any contemporary woman, who wants to let loose her own version of The French Touch.

Visitors and designers alike claim that in this city men and women dress better than many other urban environments, and embody a certain je ne sais quoi. That “something” is well articulated in Ines book. It is also lovingly captured by the fashion photographer, Scott Schuman on his trend setting blog entitled, The Satorialist. Scott has the uncanny knack for capturing style across age groups. He demonstrates how personal and organic French style, really is. Every one can look great; it is a question of attitude, not money. His photographs make you drool. On his website, he features a whole ream of pictures taken in Paris, which give you a good feel for the French vibe.

I have another dear friend who claims that The French Touch is in the tap water. Drink the water at will he laughs and “voila”. Here, I am not so sure. The “Chateau Robinet 2014″ is barely drinkable. Perhaps, the water he was referring to, came from Reims in bottles, labelled, Bollinger. Baudelaire claimed that all French women had beautiful legs because they spent half their lives walking up and down countless flights of stairs.

weekend_french-style

“When stars get in your eyes…”

Someone remarked to me just the other day that everyone should have an uncle called “Christian”. It is true that Dior had certainly added to the modern vocabulary of contemporary woman. His feel for shape and color were unique. He knew how to drape fabric across a woman’s body, letting the woman’s body speak with its own voice, not necessarily calling attention to the clothes. Elegance is always a point of subtlety.

A contemporary style trend gathering more steam has been the craze for French vintage military field jackets, and those sailor’s shirts manufactured by St. James. The Lycée crowd has taken it up in spades, and it has spread to other circles throughout the heart of the BoBo-land. Designers have been borrowing concepts from vintage military clothing for ages; Jean-Paul Gautier is just one of the most successful.

Another key give away that your style code needs adjusting is when your clothes are too tight. This is not style, sorry. This is bad taste. Clothes should always be adjusted and be your size. Forget what the inner label says. Use a tape measure.

Want to laugh?

One of our global readers was recently asking what is the best colour for shirts. At first glance, I thought this was a philosophical question. I was about to consult my annotated copy of the Analects by Confucius, and caught myself saying, “Wait a second. Colour is personal”. The French like the Italians are fond of blue and white stripes of assorted versions. This design has a causal preppy style and can be worn with or without a tie. Speaking of ties, the bow tie has made a smashing comeback. This would have pleased my father no end. I find that bow ties are not only great in summer, but can also pass muster all year round. In case you would like to start fostering a collection, why not head over to Charvet near Place Vendome. Talk about the French Touch!

Article Title: Effervescence Of The French Touch
Photograph source: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |

Red Herring |
is the digital communications agency under the WCW Group. Our expertise lies in brand journalism, blogging with the purpose of content creation, sparking emotion. Inspire your audience, which generates action with meaningful results. You needn’t be half-baked or smoked, although we should all be living near Goldeneye in Jamaica.

If you are looking for well-connected and passionate Community Managers to work your social accounts, RedHerring can evangelize your brand via social platforms. Our aim is to combine original high-quality content, with curation and community to gain distinction.

For further inspiration
Visit RedHerring at redddherring.tumblr.com

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Cityblis

Applying to Fashion School

coney_fashion-school

“Everyone wishes they had an uncle named Giorgio…”

Experience has taught me that there isn’t a royal road if you plan to work in fashion, design, or style. The classic path is study at the best possible fashion school you can get admitted to. An alternative path is to choose an outstanding liberal arts education and pepper your studies with internships.

One of my favorites is the Giorgio Armani school of design. No folks, I am not making fun. Giorgio has no official school. What I mean is kick start your career the way he did: Be an apprentice to someone. Learn to sew, cut, and study design the old fashioned way.

No one can teach you good taste. For some it is innate, but even if you have talent in this direction, you need to nurture your abilities in the right environment. Creativity can be cultivated in a multitude of cross-disciplinary ways.

What a fashion school can provide is an aesthetic and intellectual environment to give you the tools and the community to grow your talent. Build a foundation in the fundamentals and learn the mechanics. More importantly, learn how to run a successful business. At some point, you will need to know about sourcing, manufacture, logistics, and the rest.

Finding the right school however, can be a difficult task. We’d like to help. So I had one of our guys draw up a list of the usual suspects, which you can consult on our blog under the title, Fashion School Rankings.

This list highlights more than classic design schools. At most of these institutions you can learn marketing, style, textiles, brand management as well as get a solid grounding in IT.

Methodology
Fashion School Rankings should just serve you as a list to start your investigation. We asked fashion people what they recommended. They responded that you should pay more attention to the application requirements, tuition costs, demographics and location. Not all schools are the same. So what’s the message: If you want to be in fashion, you will need skills, a powerful network and talent.

Tuition
Prices vary. Living in London, Paris or New York is a different kettle of fish than say studying in Helsinki.

How To Apply
Application requirements are similar. What you need is a stellar portfolio, High School diploma or Baccalaureate from a decent Lycée, letters of recommendation, and a powerful letter of motivation. Most programs are delivered in English, but not all.

Questions
If you have questions or need help with the details, drop us a line.
Contact Us: enquiries@whitefieldconsulting.com

Article Title: Applying To Fashion School
Photograph source: style-trumps-fashion

About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on Talent Development | Career Management | Personal Brand Management | Life & Career Coaching | MBA Admissions |

Let Careo start by celebrating your success story. We hold to the principle that it is not how good you are, but how good you would like to become. We are honored to have been recommended across the French media in – Le Figaro, L’Express, Capital – and by Success & Career in Switzerland.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.

For further inspiration
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